Ciudad Constitución, the next major town along Mexico 1, gets relatively little attention from travelers, given its size (pop. 37,000). But it has plenty of hotels and restaurants if daylight is waning and you need a place to crash.
As the capital of Municipio de Comondú, Ciudad Constitución is an agricultural center for the central peninsula. There are several Pemex stations, banks with ATMs, auto repair places, grocery stores, and a hospital.
Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui
If you’re following the Spanish mission trail, Ciudad Constitución is the departure point for a trip to the short-lived San Luis Gonzaga mission (1737–1768). The site was a visita before it became a full-fledged mission in 1737 under the leadership of German Padre Lamberto Hostell.
Made of sandstone, this simple but sturdy church lacks the ornate features of its counterparts located elsewhere on the peninsula. But it is well preserved, easily accessible, and a pleasant spot for bird-watching and camping. The church is used today by a local community of ranchers and farmers.
There are two turnoffs from Mexico 1 that lead to San Luis Gonzaga. The better option, signed La Presa Iguajil, begins at Km. 195. Follow this road 42 kilometers to reach the settlement.
Hotel Oasis (Guerrero 284, btw Prieto/Farias, tel. 613/132-4458, www.hoteloasis.com, US$40), located three blocks off the main drag, is one of the best hotels in town. Modern, clean rooms come with air-conditioning, phones, and TVs, and there’s parking, plus a pool and wireless Internet throughout.
Another good choice is the Posada del Ryal Hotel (Victoria btw Olochea/Lerdo de Tejada, tel. 613/132-4800 or -4690, US$40), where clean rooms have new bath fixtures. This hotel has secure parking, wireless Internet throughout the hotel, and a pleasant courtyard; there is a laundry next door.
Hotel El Tesoro (Olachea 239, at Independencia, tel. 613/132-8156, mmhoteleltesoro [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$40) is conveniently located right on the main boulevard, on the south side of town. Its basic rooms come with cable TV and wireless Internet, and the hotel has 24-hour security/lobby hours, and parking and accepts Visa and MasterCard.
Camping and RV Parks
Misiones RV Trailer Park (Km. 213, Mexico 1 D, tel. 613/132-1103, http://misionesrvpark.com), on the east side of Boulevard Olachea at the north edge of town, has a large camping area with trees for shade. Rigs can pull through or back in. Amenities include a large swimming pool, Wi-Fi, and meals upon request. The owners are happy to arrange whale-watching tours for guests and offer tourist advice in general. The park has hookups that run US$14–18 a night (dry/full) and tent camping for $6 per person. There is also a swimming pool. If you aren’t camping, you can rent a room for US$40.
On Sunday afternoons, lines form at Taquería Karen (corner of Hidalgo/Olochea, no tel., mains US$5–7) for cabeza, pescado, and other tacos.
Tortas and Tacos Las Tortugas (corner of Olochea/Bravo, no tel., mains US$5–7) makes tortas, carne asada, and Cuban sandwiches for US$2–3.
At Brismar (Olochea at Zapata, tel. 613/137-0270, 8 A.M.–9 P.M. daily, till 8 P.M. Sun., mains US$6–10), a friendly staff serves mariscos and carnes in a pleasant, clean, and air-conditioned space.
For a taste of something different, Baja Teriyaki (Olachea at Bellsario Dominguez, tel. 613/132-7092 or tel. 613/132-8378 for delivery from another branch on Cervantes del Rio and Morelos, lunch and dinner daily, mains US$5–7) is a local chain that serves Mexican-style Japanese dishes accompanied by the usual Mexican salsas and pickled condiments. They have rice bowls, teriyaki of all varieties, and some sushi rolls and fried dishes.
One of the better asaderos in town is Asadero Tribi (Olachea and Suarez, tel. 613/132-7353, 8 A.M.–midnight Tues.–Sun.) which does everything from hearty breakfasts for around US$5 to grilled meats, chicken, and seafood entrées in the US$8–12 range. Or you can order tacos with any grilled specialty for US$1.50 apiece. A clean restaurant and full bar round out the experience here.
The best options for groceries are Super Ley (Agustín Olachea Aviles btw Ignacio Ramírez/Pelayo, tel. 613/132-6873) and La Americana (Agustín Olachea Aviles s/n, no tel.), both on the main drag through town.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition